Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Charice Pempengco on Oprah

So we know Charice, a young talented Filipino singer, sang on Oprah yesterday. Her performance was outstanding and emotional. As I listened closely to the lyrics of her song, I thought her "A Note to God" is a religious/faith song. I would describe it as quite similar to Jamie Rivera's "Heal Our Land." I was not surprise by her song choice as Filipinos would more than often sing religious/faith songs for Catholic Charismatic Church. I was touched and moved by her song. I believe so was the audience and Oprah. A couple of women were standing in the audience when she was singing. Charice even shed some tears while hitting high notes. Oprah, watching her audience, shed a tear as well. After she sang, Oprah had the chance to ask her what she felt when she was singing her song. Coming from Philippines from a middle class background, I was expecting from her a passion to relieve poverty and violence in her country and around the world. As someone who rose from middle class status in third world country to fame and riches, I thought she would be able to compare her life then and now and be able to express compassion for her fellow countrymen and to promote alleviation of poverty and violence in her country and around the world. I thought she would bring awareness to third world poverty and violence. I thought she would be a spokesperson for a non government organization to help others and so forth. But I was wrong. She replied with innocence that she was excited to release her first album and everybody had the chance to hear her new song. While watching her, I burst into a sneer. I was fooled. Charice was expressing some teenage mentality of self centeredness like other teenagers, which is normal. It's ok to think about yourself. It's ok to be excited about your new album. She was just being a teenager. But next time a little PR would not hurt. You know, talk like you're in a beauty pageant even if you don't really feel compassion for the poor or want to end violence around the world. Pretend. Say that you want to. Make people believe you want to. You'll sell more albums that way.

Picture from Wikipedia, "Charice Pempenco"
I still love Charice. She is talented. I have not seen anybody cry and hit high notes at the same time. However, she's a teenager and she'll change over the years. She'll become more seasoned and prepared to face the camera. If she listens to what Oprah would have to say in response to her teenage mentality-me first- comment, she will keep her feet planted on the ground even if she is wearing Manolos. Maybe one day she would be a spokesperson to end poverty in third world country.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Black Forest Ice Cream Cake

Mmmm... Black Forest Ice Cream Cake... No words can describe this dessert. I think I'm gonna have seconds.

Lit, Litercy, or Literacy

Another reason why California students are not academically prepared for college.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Reflection on my reflection on Love in the Time of Cholera

I wonder how many people have copied my book report on Love in the Time of Cholera and submitted it to their teacher and got a decent grade? Maybe I am being too conceited. How many people have read it without reading the whole book? I have to say that the book is amazing. Do not just settle for a book report online. Read the whole book and you will fall in love with the book and with the characters in the book.

Leche Flan, Caramel Custard, or Flan

The most delicious dessert of them all is leche flan, caramel custard, or flan. Again leche flan is another dessert that I thought was originally Filipino but is not. (I mentioned in my entry on champurado that some Filipino desserts did not originate in Philippines.) Nevertheless, caramel custard is one of the most favored desserts in international cooking. It is easy to make and it is a suitable ending to mechado or any meal.
Upon making leche flan, I realize that addition of egg whites gives air bubbles in the flan, causing holes compared to leche flan made with purely egg yolks. However, I am concern about cholesterol level in my household and I would like to keep my dishes/desserts as healthy as possible without compromising calories, some fat, some sweetness, and taste. So the addition of egg whites makes a healthier version of leche flan. Usually, I make leche flan in an oblong dish or llanera. However, I want to make individual portion for easy serving. Believe me, it was gone in a second! Also, I want to add some flair to the usual egg and milk mixture. So, Irish Creme adds a kick to the original leche flan recipe. Irish Creme already goes well with milk and the taste of alchohol dissipates after baking the flan. What is left is concoction of cinnamon, nutmeg, and blend of Irish Creme without the alcohol. Mi familia loved it!

Use 6 custard molds

Caramel Sauce:
1/2 c brown sugar
1 tb water
Heat until sugar is melted and divide between six custard mold. Wait until sugar hardens before adding egg mixture.

Egg mixture:
1 can evaporated milk
1/3 sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
1/8 tsp. salt.
4 tb Bailey's Irish Creme
4 eggs
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
Heat milk, sugar, vanilla, salt, Irish Creme. Do not let it curdle. Mix remaining ingredients in a big bowl. Add milk to egg mixture and divide between six custard mold with caramel. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Place custard molds in a pan with boiling water to similate steam and bake for 40-50 minutes. Remove from water and refrigerate.